Assi Sajna: Another fan-swooning indie track in Jasleen Royal’s repertoire

In a candid conversation with The Statesman, Jasleen Royal shares her journey as an artist, her new release, Assi Sajna and what it’s like to be a woman singer-composer in Bollywood.

Assi Sajna: Another fan-swooning indie track in Jasleen Royal’s repertoire

Jasleen Royal

You finally find a seat on the speeding bus as spirited conversations go around you, with a few bickering and asking the other to give them some space to stand, with one squabbling with the conductor over the ticket price. You take out your phone, put on your earbuds and tune out everything with the song Heeriye surrounding your senses. You go to a wedding where the bridesmaids take the floor, dancing to the tunes of Nachde Ne Saare. Or when it rains heavily outside, luckily it’s a Saturday, you sit across the window with a coffee in hand and vibe melodiously to Kho Gaye Hum Kaha. While all these songs reverberate with different emotions and moods, what remains unchanged is the melodious voice of Jasleen Royal, which ties every listener together.

A singer and composer with a melodious momentum, she has been topping the charts with both her indie singles and soundtracks for films. Ask anyone, and they will expressively praise how calming her voice is, just like how you could listen to her once, and it wouldn’t be enough. Taking part in the brand new show India’s Got Talent in 2009, where she caught everyone’s eye with her talent of playing multiple instruments at once, getting her big break in Bollywood with Khoobsurat’s Preet, and being the indisputable voice that every bride prays to play at her entry to her exceptional hit Heeriye with Dulquer Salmaan, her journey as an artist is a one-way trip up. Congregating accolades, awards and unequivocal love from the audience, this Ludhiana girl has cemented her name in Bollywood.

In a candid conversation with The Statesman, Jasleen Royal shares her journey as an artist, her new release, Assi Sajna, produced, sung and composed by Jasleen, directed by Sharic Sequeria with lyrics by Aditya Sharma, and what it’s like to be a woman singer-composer in Bollywood.


The excerpts are as follows:

  • From being an Indie artist with exceptional hits like Heeriye to your first Bollywood break with Khoobsurat’s Preet, how has the journey been? 

It’s been interesting. I started as an indie artist, then got into films and now I am back to the basics. The whole journey has taught me a lot. In fact, the videos I end up making have a lot of my film training, like the things I have inculcated from scoring so many films. The whole thing has been an interesting blend, to say the least.

  • As a singer-songwriter, is there anything you wish you knew during your initial days? What would you have told Jasleen in the past? 

I wish the old Jasleen had known more about the rights as a composer, because we are not really taught the rights as performers, the royalties, and the IP. I never had a godfather or any connection in this industry. I came straight from Ludhiana and was trying to make things work out. So I wish I had known what I know now so that I could have learnt things sooner.

  • Which composition will forever and foremost be your most cherished one?

It’s very strange, actually. The moment the song gets released, after that, I completely let go, but the moment before anything comes out, I make sure to fine-tune everything, even obsessing over things that people might not even notice. But the moment it is out, I disconnect and jump into the next project. So, every song for me is my baby. Well, all my songs are special to me, but the two closest would be Ranjha and Heeriye, because they gave me so much acceptance that Kho Gaye Hum Kaha made me a household name. Each of my songs has given me so much.

  • Everywhere one goes, one will find fans humming Heeriye, Sang Rahiyo and Ranjha. How excited are you about your new music video, Assi Sajna?

I am equally nervous and excited, to be honest. There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to any song, like what’s going to work and when it is going to work. Sang Rahiyo gained popularity a few months ago, even though it was released years ago. It gained momentum slowly, so you never know what is going to happen.

  • What does this song mean to you? What emotion do you hope listeners take away from Assi Sajna

It is the perfect summer song for me because it makes you fall in love with life. It’s all about romanticising life. It’s about all things love. I want this to be everyone’s happy song. I want this song to be a reminder to cherish the moments and appreciate the things in life because there is so much out there.

  • Assi Sajna is your first release in 2024. What other passion projects can we expect this year?

The next project I am working on is the biggest collaboration I have ever worked on, but for that, you have to wait a little bit more!

  • When you are not busy composing music, recording, or producing and shooting your own music videos, who tops your playlist? 

 My go-to artists would always be Lucky Ali, Rahman sir and Coke Studio.

  • After being a part of this industry for so many years, negativity and setbacks are inevitable. How did you overcome and redefine those tough times?

When you feel low, you process the feelings. Keep to your room, playing video games (laughing); you then slowly start coming out of it, and you talk about it with your friends or your therapist. I think it is extremely important to process the negativity and the setbacks and not let them build up. I feel when you can comfortably talk about your failures and setbacks, that’s the moment it loses its power over you.

  • What’s the most challenging part of being a woman singer-songwriter in Bollywood?

 There are very few composers or women in power positions in the music industry. I think the landscape has evolved a bit, though, and the community has grown bigger, inspiring more people. I would want this music industry to be an equal playground for everyone, and I feel that change has already started.